When I first moved to Kentucky, my nearby neighbor, former Murray Mayor John Ed Scott, was well into his amateur meteorology, recording daily temperatures and hydration levels for the community.  I often called him from the radio station newsroom to verify rain and snow totals and extreme temperatures.  He was always willing to share and I appreciated his commitment to chronicle local daily weather conditions.

These days, I find it curious the claims made about global warming – or now reframed as climate change – based on my past observations of weather. Not as a scientist, because I’m not, but simply looking at data over the years and experiencing weather close up, seasons fluctuate and extreme conditions become random moments for reporting.

For example, I went back to published weather reports of 1955 that revealed west Kentucky had several days in September peaking at near 100 degrees. It was hot. As years progressed, some summer and early fall months were hotter than others. When I arrived in the early ‘80s, I experienced the same thing.

President Trump’s lead person on climate change William Happer, the former Princeton physicist, and George H.W. Bush’s energy researcher, is a skeptic, like many scientists today. He told the Daily Princetonian in a recent interview, “Since the year 1800, the Earth has warmed by about 1 degree Celsius. Some fraction of the warming is due to more atmospheric CO2 from burning fossil fuels, but most of the warming is probably due to the same natural forces that have always controlled the Earth’s changeable climate.”

Of course, I would never suggest we be irresponsible toward the environment.  But we also need to realize that statistically, America has reduced carbon emissions significantly over the years while China remains unchecked along with other Asian nations.

Our nation’s environmental record is one of the strongest in the world. According to the White House, from 1970 to 2018, the combined emissions of the most common air pollutants fell 74% while the economy grew over 275%. Between 1990 and 2018, average concentrations of harmful air pollutants decreased considerably across our nation. By EPA’s measures, pollutants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in America are continuing to trend downward regardless of year to year variations. Minor year-to-year increases in GHG emissions or Air Quality Index “unhealthy” days are the result of meteorological conditions and wildfires.

The president and the administration are continuing to pursue policies that encourage environmental protection while promoting economic growth. Since 2005, energy related carbon emissions have declined more than any other country, and is expected to decrease this year and in 2020.  We have the cleanest air on record and remain a global leader for access to clean drinking water.  The president has taken important steps to restore, preserve, and protect our land, air, and waters.

But 2020 Democrats make the claim that you can never go too far, even if it means taking jobs away from hard-working Americans. It’s estimated that the Green New Deal will cost $93 trillion.  Hard to fathom those kinds of numbers, but it is easy to realize that those numbers would virtually bankrupt our country.

The EPA has taken significant steps under President Trump to clean up our atmosphere, efficiently implementing air quality standards that will better protect the environment and human health.  

Whether you buy into the whole argument of climate change or not, it is important to remember that America has improved its emission controls, in fact, almost revolutionary in many ways.  But protesters would have everyone believe that Republicans are bad for the environment and that it is the biggest threat to our planet. However, the truth is not reflected in their march and we see once again an attempt to manipulate our economy by government control.  

Greg DeLancey is the 1st District chairman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. He may be reached at republican.chair@gmail.com.

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